Journal of Neurology

, Volume 264, Issue 10, pp 2101–2109 | Cite as

A specific pattern of gray matter atrophy in Alzheimer’s disease with depression

  • Efstratios Karavasilis
  • Theodore P. Parthimos
  • John D. Papatriantafyllou
  • Sokratis G. Papageorgiou
  • George Kapsas
  • Andrew C. Papanicolaou
  • Ioannis Seimenis
Original Communication


Considering the high incidence of depressive symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), we conducted a large-sample study to investigate the pattern of gray matter (GM) abnormalities that differentiates depressive from non-depressive AD patients. We included 201 AD patients who underwent MRI assessment and categorized them into depressive and non-depressive subgroups based on the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS; cut-off score: ≤9). We performed whole-brain voxel-based morphometry analysis in 173 patients after MRI quality control and used between-group comparisons and regression analysis models to analyze the volumetric data controlling for nuisance variables. Depressive AD patients had extensive GM volume loss mainly in the paracentral region, specifically in post- and pre-central gyrus, supplementary motor areas and thalamus compared to non-depressive patients. Similar findings were obtained for the group of 173 patients using regression analysis and GDS score as predictor variable. We provided the first clear demonstration of a unique pattern of GM atrophy that characterizes AD patients with depression which is consistent with regions implicated in the phenomenon of psychomotor retardation that characterizes depression.


Depression Alzheimer’s disease Gray matter volumetry Neuroimaging MRI 



We thank all patients for their willingness to participate in the present study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

All authors declared that they have no potential conflict of interest.


This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Efstratios Karavasilis
    • 1
    • 2
  • Theodore P. Parthimos
    • 3
  • John D. Papatriantafyllou
    • 3
  • Sokratis G. Papageorgiou
    • 4
  • George Kapsas
    • 5
  • Andrew C. Papanicolaou
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
  • Ioannis Seimenis
    • 2
  1. 1.Second Department of RadiologyUniversity General Hospital ‘Attikon’, National and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Department of Medical Physics, Medical SchoolDemocritus University of ThraceAlexandroupolisGreece
  3. 3.3rd Age Day Care Center IASISGlyfadaGreece
  4. 4.Second Department of NeurologyUniversity General Hospital ‘Attikon’, National and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece
  5. 5.Department of Radiology and Nuclear MedicineErasmus MCRotterdamThe Netherlands
  6. 6.Division of Clinical Neurosciences, Department of PediatricsUniversity of Tennessee Health Science CenterMemphisUSA
  7. 7.Neuroscience InstituteLe Bonheur Children’s HospitalMemphisUSA
  8. 8.Department of Anatomy and NeurobiologyUniversity of Tennessee Health Science CenterMemphisUSA

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